Thanks very much for your open letter to the 'Prince' on Sept. 27 (“Open Letter: PGSU on divergent perspectives”). We heard from other graduate and undergraduate students about that particular sentence in our year’s opening email to the student body.
Although we work hard in these occasional letters to be very clear about our meanings, with the sentence you quoted we opened room for interpretations counter to what we intended. For that, we apologize.
As you call on the University to do, we condemn violence and hatred of all kinds. The three of us and the offices we represent work daily to protect the rights and safety of immigrants, transgender people, and people of color (and those whose identities intersect all of these categories and others).
We agree that our University should be a place where “the rights of all students are upheld without question, and where any ideology that threatens their security is courageously confronted,” as you suggest.
We’re not insisting on “neutrality”; we’re urging clear and effective engagement. We meant our email to advocate for what Princeton does best: teaching, learning, creating scholarship, and staging conversations about complex social issues, in ways that indeed respect the “full dignity and humanity of all persons” and lift up intellectual as well as political and other forms of difference.
That is the concrete action we look forward to supporting and engaging throughout the coming year and beyond.
We look forward to working with you.
Jill Dolan, Dean of the College
Cole M. Crittenden, Interim Dean of the Graduate School
W. Rochelle Calhoun, Vice President for Campus Life